ASK any Partick Thistle fan about following their team this season and they will tell you that it has been a fair old graft. But for chairman Jacqui Low, the real hard work for the club starts now.

Thistle secured their Championship safety on Saturday with a thumping win over Queen of the South, their eventual sixth-place finish giving little indication of the fraught nature of their season.

Low’s stated ambition after relegation from the Premiership last summer was to return to the top-flight at the first attempt, but she is determined to have a much better crack at it second time around.

To achieve that, she knows that a huge summer lies ahead, but she has vowed to give manager Gary Caldwell all the backing he needs to make sure Thistle are battling it out at the right end of the league next season.

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“We’ve secured our position in the Championship, but this is where the hard work really starts for next season,” Low said.

“It’s going to be a very important season for us, and we literally will be starting this week in terms of looking at what we are doing and what we are building.

“It will be a big year ahead for us, an important year, but you saw the support from our fans on Saturday which was amazing. Fantastic.

“That support has seen us through the last few months, and I think we gave them something on Saturday that they can rally behind, and they are going to be important to us going forward next season.”

Low acknowledges there have been some harsh lessons taken on board from the bruising experience of their first season back at this level, and that has made her all the more aware of how vital a good summer transfer window will be to the club.

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“We came in a bit blind this season, and what this has done has given us clarity of what we want to do, and what we need to do to achieve that,” she said.

“That means being very focused on the window coming up, the selections we make, and making sure we have a structure that will support those aspirations.

“This year, I had to say at the start of the season that we were going for promotion, because anything else would have lacked ambition.

“I’m sure there were a few people who were disappointed that we appeared to stick to that right to the end, but we finished sixth, and if we had started the season in mid-table then we would have been ok. For the coming season, promotion is our aspiration again.

“We have already spoken about it as a board, the manager has spoken to us about it. We have our budgets and our plans ready to go, so that’s what happens this week. We’re pretty clear on what is needed in order to seek promotion, and he is pretty clear on what he needs by way of players. There is a happy coming together there between the board and the manager.

“We’re focused, and we will do everything we can do to make sure that the club gets back to the Premiership.”